The roughly four-minute long video intersperses shots of law enforcement officers getting ready for patrol and helping elderly citizens with scenes from recent — and often times violent — demonstrations in response to police related-shootings. They tend to see an even broader stereotype, through an even more racist lens. The video also shows various news clips of officers killed over the last few years while on duty, from the massacres last summer in Dallas and Baton Rouge to two NYPD patrolmen killed execution-style in Brooklyn. The year average for police officer deaths was
Police Racism Caught on Camera: Peter Dreier July 11, This article was originally published in The American Prospect on July 30,and has been updated in light of recent events.
But the harsh reality is that there has been no sudden upsurge of racial profiling, arrests, beatings, and killings of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Rather than an abrupt recent rise in police mistreatment of black Americans, we are seeing a surge in awareness of the problem due in part to the use of hidden body cameras and citizen videos. Because more incidents of police abuse are now being captured on camera, white Americans are waking up to how different black lives can be.
These videotaped incidents are now part of the political terrain, making it harder for police to hide abusive behavior and easier for community groups to verify longstanding complaints about police misconduct.
What is emerging is a picture of white-on-black violence that carries echoes of the often-police-sanctioned lynchings of the Jim Crow era. Those lynchings were frequently caught on camera, too, and those photographs were used both by anti-lynching activists and by white supremacists celebrating their vigilante actions.
Last Tuesday morning, two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, fatally shot Alton Sterling, a year-old African American, while trying to arrest him.
Members of the group Stop the Killing arrived at the Triple S Food Mart after hearing reports on a police scanner about an arrest in front of the store. The activists captured the incident—which shows the two cops shooting Sterling after pinning him to the ground—on video, and then released it online.
The following day, a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota—a suburb of St. Paul—stopped Philando Castile for driving a car with a broken tail light. The officer then opened fire and killed Castile, a year old African American. Reynolds did not capture the actual moment of the shooting but she broadcast the aftermath of the incident on her Facebook page.
By Friday, the video had been viewed 4. This is thanks partly to the exploding use of cell phones, YouTube, and Twitter—as well as to the growing number of police cars and cops now outfitted with cameras. The brutal mistreatment of Bland, for example, a year-old African American woman stopped a year ago by Brian Encina, a Texas Highway Patrol trooper, for failing to signal before changing lanes, was captured only because Texas requires patrol cars to have video cameras and state troopers to carry body microphones.
But there is little dispute that she should not have been in jail in the first place. Similarly, the death of Garner, a year-old black man arrested in New York City for selling loose cigarettes, came to light only because of footage filmed by a bystander.
He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. These and other incidents have increased public awareness of police misconduct toward black citizens. As a result, white attitudes are changing, and protests led by black activists are accelerating. The recent assassination of five police officers in Dallas by a black sniper upset over recent police violence has further roiled the nation.
As citizens on both sides of the racial divide join in vigils and protests around the country, this may be a moment in our history when real reform is possible. The rate of African Americans killed by police declined significantly in the s and s, but it has remained relatively steady since then.
The FBI significantly undercounts the number of fatal shootings by police officers because it does not require police departments to keep it updated.
Their numbers vary slightly, reflecting differences in how they collect the data, but all three sources show a similar pattern of police killings that disproportionately target African Americans. Through July 8 of this year, police have killed individuals, according to The Guardian. This puts the nation on track to end the year with 1, deaths at the hands of police.
This is comparable to the 1, people killed by police last year.
The remaining victims include African Americans 27 percent and Latinos 17 percent. Asian Americans, Native Americans, other races, and people of unknown origin, who accounted for the remaining 5 percent.My sergeant made me make a sex tape: Wall police lawsuits allege racism, more.
Wall is facing a pair of lawsuits from a former officer and a suspended dispatcher who claim their coworkers. Jul 19, · Disturbing stories this summer about white people calling the police on black people for cutting the grass or using the swimming pool.
What’s going on?
Police officers drag away a protester to take him into custody during a demonstration against the grand jury decision. (Jim Young/Reuters) (JIM YOUNG) As a kid, I got used to being stopped by the. Apr 14, · A panel assigned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel says police officers have mistreated people, operated without oversight and lost the trust of residents.
Police Racism: A Search for Answers In Ferguson, Charleston, Baltimore and beyond, the nation confronts charges of police racism. One researcher is breaking new ground. Jun 13, · In a shooting involving a police officer, there's often a familiar blame game: Was the cop was racist?
Was the person shot threatening? Or maybe, the bias that leads cops to shoot affects us all.